The Farmer Calls For The Migrant

La pisca los busca,
and like migratory birds
la siguen.

They follow the crops like hungry sheep
who seek greener pastures,
only they must first feed the shepherds
with the labor of their hands,
and wash the feet of the patrón,
with the sweat of their brow.

They face the cold and dampness
of the early morn
There is no reluctance in their hastened steps.
The midday sun lashes them with rays of heat
that roasts them to a copper brown

The brown that some in town resent.

The essential worker that picks from dawn to dusk.
Some sleep in rundown shacks approved by
USDA, or live in slumlord hovels,
its all they can afford.

They exist,
but their sacrifice,
is a non-existent thought
to the squeezer of the melon or watermelon thumper.
A penny a pound to face the dangers of the field.
Five pair of hands, five sets of legs, five aching backs.
Mother, father, sister and brothers,
it takes a family to make ends meet.

Some must choose,
feed the belly or make the rent.
Vacations are for gringos, and
Their children.

Some migrants get to stay,
some run away when the migra shouts,
“Show me your papers.” and “Como te llamas?”

In this poetic refrain,
we may feel the pain, of Jesus, Maria y Jose,
but they are invisible,
to the buyer of the apple
or the peach,
to those who carefully select from the shelves and bins
of uptown grocers,
the fruits
of the migrant’s labor.

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